Exciting news for WWE fans! Starting in October 2024, Friday Night SmackDown will be making its way back to the USA Network. The WWE and NBCUniversal have recently finalized a five-year domestic media rights partnership, ensuring that fans can continue to enjoy their favorite matches on USA Network and Peacock.
A long-standing partnership
SmackDown has been one of NBCUniversal’s most successful programs, consistently drawing in audiences aged 18 to 49 on Friday nights. With wrestling stars like John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Rey Mysterio, it’s no wonder that SmackDown has become such a hit.
Nick Khan, the President of WWE, expressed his excitement about the extended partnership with NBCUniversal, stating, “NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades. We are thrilled to bring SmackDown back to USA Network on Friday nights and are looking forward to showcasing multiple WWE special events on NBC.”
Consolidating professional wrestling programming
This move will consolidate WWE’s professional wrestling programming on a single network. Alongside SmackDown, USA Network is already home to WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw, both of which have seen a significant increase in viewership year after year.
This transition comes at a transformative time for WWE, as it recently merged with the UFC to form a new company.
Primetime specials and new opportunities
As part of the agreement, WWE will not only broadcast and stream live matches but also produce four primetime specials each year to air on NBC. This marks the first time that WWE will be venturing into the primetime slot on the network.
Frances Berwick, the Chairman of NBCUniversal Entertainment, expressed her excitement about the partnership by saying, “It’s a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE, which has helped solidify USA Network’s position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership. With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we will continue to provide exceptional content to this dedicated fanbase.”
While no details about these specials have been disclosed yet, fans can expect even more thrilling and entertaining events from WWE.
Expanding WWE content on Peacock
In addition to the partnership with USA Network and NBC, WWE has prided itself on expanding its content on the streaming platform Peacock. Since 2021, Peacock has offered a vast catalog of WWE content, including on-demand programs, original series, documentaries, and WWE archives hosting fan-favorite matches and live events.
If you’re a WWE fan, be sure to check out the WWE hub on Peacock, where you can stream live events such as Wrestlemania, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and SummerSlam.
Transition away from Fox
With the merger of WWE and UFC into a new company, the brand is taking a step away from its long-standing relationship with Fox. However, WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw will continue to air on USA Network through September 2024.
Source : cordcuttersnews.com